Thursday, October 16, 2008

Kayak and Canoe Sailing

Yahoo, it's a go! Check it out, Kristen and I are registered.

My Bear posting generated quite a few offers to teach me how to use a gun/shotgun, and I thank friends for that. I'm not real keen on taking a firearm right now, I'd likely just get the bear even more mad. An funny addition to this topic is another local rule regards field dressing any wildlife that are killed in self defence. Seems if you killed a bear between Dawson and Eagle, it is illegal to leave it in the bush, you have to take it back to Dawson.

Moving on........

Coming in at the finish of the
2008 WaterTribe Everglades Challenge

I’m off early Friday morning to the 18th annual BORN TO RAISE SAIL© kayak and canoe sailors gathering, hosted by the Red Oak, Virginia Chapter of the Sails Angels© at Cedar Island.

I’ve packed both my Kruger Dreamcatcher Canoe with its Balogh Sail Rig, and my NDK Explorer sea kayak with its PAS downwind sail.

The event flyer said “The previous years gatherings brought friendly, interesting people from Colorado, England, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin among other places. Boats ranged from canoes to hardshell, inflatable and folding kayaks. Although we have intentionally kept the size of the gathering small, this has certainly become the sailing kayak/canoe event of the season.” Sounds like a really great time.

I happened upon this event 7 years ago, October 2001. John, Eric and I, regular paddling partners at the time, were there to paddle the 20 mile crossing from Cedar Island to Portsmouth Island, and spend the weekend camping on the beach at the historic and now uninhabited barrier island on Core Banks.

It was a long hard paddle, we made Portsmouth at dusk, and though prepared, we were still completely overwhelmed by mosquitoes, the buzzing sound of millions and bazillions of mosquitoes was deafening. They say “Mosquitoes visit other places in the world, but they are all originally from Portsmouth Island”. It was so bad, that upon awakening the next morning, we dove from our tents into the water, and planned an immediate retreat, paddling over to Oakracoke Island, and then taking the ferry back to Cedar Island.

It was while on the ferry ride back, that I met a few family members of some of the kayak sailors who were visiting for the sailing retreat weekend. Two women told me of their husbands adventures, kayak paddle sailing and camping the entire East Coast Intracoastal Waterway. We were invited to join them for the Saturday night dinner, but feeling a bit like intruders we thanked them and went on our way.

I’m pretty sure these stories of adventures were the real beginning for me related to kayaking. A year later I turned 50, and kayak trips and expeditions became an important part of my life. Just goes to show, your never to old.
Friday also begins a little vacation, so a bit of silence on the blog. Should have some great stories and pics when I'm back.

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